Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’

aaaaahhhhaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhAAAAAAAAAA

I’m quoting above there, from a colleague in Canada.  Something about being pulled through the eye of a needle while it’s on fire.

So, today.  We fell off the Gratitude Truck and watched the proceeding events from the undercarriage.  Boo (zilla) laid another egg so a certain amount of anxious watching came to an end.  Now we just have to keep her from doing it yet again.  But the trend of things seemed to be….everyone riding on a wave of situation specific inattention.  My elderly mother has lung congestion, for which she was prescribed antibiotics, even though it is not to all appearances a bacterial issue, which is to say no blood tests, no yellow phlegm, no fever.  Since bacteria is all that antibiotics address I have to wonder who this made feel better.  So, fine.  Her immune response can be further tampered with to no purpose.  There are certain financial and business insanities around here as well, and to my eye people are just doing the Lemming Rag- as in, the market changes and you have to change with it.  Well, let’s see here. I guess that means that all the stuff that’s worked so well, the banking system?  The general business climate that’s so great? We all just need to catch that wave.  Except.  The housing market changed.  The job market changed.  Agriculture changed.  Hmmm.  Construction changed.  We’re all dog paddling as fast as we can and from here it just looks to me like people are thinking that as long as they have theirs, essentially, well, it’s all good.  But of course it isn’t all good.  In fact, one market after another has crashed, if not smashed, and adapting to that behaviorally by embracing the point-man excesses isn’t going to get us out of the quagmire.  Wait- did I say quagmire? I think I meant inferno.  What’s a cross between a quagmire and an inferno?

Meanwhile once again, we do have what we need inside us.  HARD AS THAT IS TO BELIEVE AT TIMES.  In a moment when I felt like I had stuck a fork into a light socket (except we don’t have sockets in the yurt) suddenly the flowers spoke.  Flower essences are a big part of what I do in my work, and suddenly one flower in particular just about stood up and said, Hey! Knock it off!  Do your work and let it go!  This is irrelevant in the Big Picture!!!! Get a grip!! So I pulled the tattered remnants of today’s self together,  and took the specific essence, which happened to be Buttercup.  Then I realized that the buttercups are coming up all over around here, yellow beauty and gentle splendor.   So I am making an essence now, as we speak.  This is, of course, a whole topic, a whole world of exploration, which I initially didn’t think I would ever write about in this blog.  But on the other hand, keeping all our selves separate generally winds up not working, so here it is sticking its stamens and pistils in.   Essentially these preparations work on our electromagnetic systems, and they are indeed powerful, and very gentle even though they all do embody the entirety of nature’s powers.  So today I got to be my own patient.  And you know what? It worked.  I helped myself- really, that’s pretty awesome.  Thank goodness flowers can talk, and if we listen they’ll teach us day by day.

Chop wood, carry water

The Partner is doing the chopping; I did the water carrying.  Soon, we have to go down off the hill, which I figured costs us a minimum of $5 in gas each time, because our phone is out of order and there isn’t any cel reception up here to speak of.  It’s all in the exhausting nature of life here which does have the effect of keeping one FLEXIBLE.  Gumby-esque, you might say.  I had things planned for Monday, for example, but now I have to be here all day waiting for the Phone Company to show up.  So that means I need to do something else on my list Monday.  Which means the errands I had planned for Tuesday need partly to be done today.  And so on.  We couldn’t do laundry while the sun was out because….hahahaha!!! there wasn’t any water.  And so on.

The Business Issues continue but with my new Carefree, Relaxed Attitude, do I care that I have orders to get out that are waiting for the New Size Jars since these are all custom things?  And that the label issue, much as I tried to do an end run around it, required certain large purchases to be made.   At least we got a “free” shredder thrown in. ( It says “LIGHT DUTY” on it; the Partner asked what that meant, and I figure it means this shredder is not for corporate use, right? ) However and, with my excellent New Design and Brain Consulting Staff, I think that while there will certainly be lots of cursing and stepping on the Screaming Doormat (which last uttered a spontaneous and un-stepped upon scream as we were walking out into the eclipse to drive to the Christmas Fair), ultimately it will all be better.

It finally snowed in the mountains and at last, there is snow on both Lassen and Shasta which glows spectacularly in the sunsets.  The other mountains had snow, and were wreathed in fog and clouds which gave them the appearance of floating, until the snow largely melted.  The frogs are coming out to sing, and the gray squirrel was out front this morning, first facing us eating an acorn so that his white stomach glowed like a beacon.  Then he turned around and we watched his little head and ears as he padded around foraging.  The manzanitas are blooming, too- the pink ones always come out first.

You could almost think everything is alright.  But in the words of the songwriter Tod Snyder, everything is not alright.  As in the song I heard, wherein he described being about to crash his car.

I spent a whole day last week with a friend, going to the doctor first and then to the lab where in theory lab tests were to be done.  The high point was seeing the miniature donkeys on the way home, besides getting to hang out with my friend of course.  The low point?  All the rest of it.

WHICH.  We will summarize because really?  I’m starting to see how things really are intimately connected even though the Average Citizen is doing their darndest not to see it.  And it’s really exhausting.  But the medical establishment in the country?  The war on drugs?  The prison system which has been privatized?  All connected.  Directly.  And it is all about profit, Gentle Reader, not to put too fine a point on it.  We were told, point blank, that surgeons in particular and physicians in general in this area will not take on patients who do not have health insurance.  Because why?  Because their insurance carriers have determined that people who don’t have insurance and pay cash are more likely to file malpractice suits.  A get rich quick scheme we were told.  Which told me off the top that nobody knows their right from their left here.   Lawsuits are no longer “quick” in this state with the budget cuts to the courts.  There are caps on malpractice settlements.  Then we were told that these same individuals (lowlifes was the implication) were “no better off financially twelve months later” than they were before because they “can’t manage money”.   Apart from the fact that if they did manage to get a settlement, a pretty large portion of it would go to their attorney.  And to taxes.  But, hey!  It’s all about money management, right?  So, if you don’t have insurance FOR WHATEVER REASON?  and you get sick?  Sayonara, where’s the airport.  Also, if you refuse the Pharma Platter suggested to you, no further assistance will be rendered.  If they think you’re too sick to benefit from said Pharma Platter, even if you have insurance, you’ll be let die- and I personally witnessed this with a client.  It blew my mind, really.  I was shocked that in a society where many people seem to think abortion is wrong, adults are let die because….because,  it seems, they are no longer profitable.  So, in essence, the insurance and pharmaceutical industries control the sort of medical and health care you get in this country.

The war on drugs? Links directly to the Prison issue, and they both go directly to: Profits for Corporations, Pharmaceutical, and now, “Corrections”.  People can be as loaded as all get out on vicodin, xanax, oxycontin, whatever their doctor will prescribe.  But smoke marijuana and you’re in the slammer for a long time.  You are depriving Pharma of their due profits, after all.  So then you go to prison, and the prisons? Are largely for profit corporate entities now.  The simple math:  More prisoners mean more money coming in.  Fewer services for those prisoners means the more money can be turned into profit instead of used for the betterment of society by educating prisoners and helping them improve their lives.  I mean, really.  Explain to me how you can throw somebody in jail for ten years and they come out worse than when they went in.  Plus they can’t: vote, rent a place to live, get a job.  And for extra fun they’ve got a mountain of debt for their jail term.  Nelson Mandela got a huge bill from the South African government for his term of incarceration, and so do many of the spider web tattooed guys you see on the street from time to time.  It becomes a revolving door situation: There’s nothing for them to do on the outside and they’re money makers on the inside.  Adam Gopnick has written an excellent article in the January 30 issue of THE NEW YORKER on the subject of prisons, and it is something everyone should read.  We have, apparently, more people in prison than were in Stalin’s gulags.  The racial composition of prisons is another, sickening, subject.  And the War on Drugs, which when you look at it goes pretty much directly back to not only the Pharmaceutical industry which militates against anything they aren’t selling themselves,  but also the endemic corruption in law enforcement (they can get money for broad swathes of drug arrests, for example).

So, as much as we’d all like to deny that we’re sitting on top of a mountain of excrement which is about to sink under it’s own nasty weight, it’s still the actual case.  It doesn’t seem like it would be all that difficult to undo either….but that would mean a restructuring of things and profit would have to go, as it is currently understood and manifested.  Surplus ? To be used consciously to improve whatever the purpose of the initial means of production?  A more workable concept.  (the Partner, again.)

We’ll be back to recipes next time I think.  All this tough sledding has made me cook like a maniac.

Lay It Down, Step Back

*sigh* *cough* Well.  Hello again.  I hardly know how to begin, and gosh! I’m sure Inquiring Minds Want To Know…just how Boozilla is faring.  SHE is fine.  And waiting for breakfast.

1) I don’t know about you, Gentle Reader, but? Plaxico Burress getting two years in jail for shooting himself in the leg seems completely ridiculous.  Someone can be chopping people up and storing them in their freezer undetected by their Parole Officer, but boy howdy.  Shoot yourself in the foot/leg? You are in the cooler, you menace to society.  Also, we’re looking at, what? $100,000 over that two year period for his incarceration for a victimless “crime”.  

2) I’ve figured out the thing with health care and  medicine in this country.  Finally.  Besides the fact that everyone is so risk averse they won’t even say if it’s day or night when they’re outside and it’s staring them in the face, there is also the fact that you, as the patient, are not presenting with a question to be answered.  No, you are an item to be stuffed into the prevailing paradigm whether you fit or not.  It’s just the way it is.  No point getting upset about it, right?  I’ve gone beyond ballistic, seeing as how I actually had to figure something out or watch someone live in total misery.   And? I DID figure something out.  Which given what I am attempting to do in my work, makes sense I suppose.  Still, it was grueling and upsetting and infuriating.  However, also a function of the fact that there appear to be just too many people to pay attention to.  It’s a game of Russian Roulette, going to a doctor in these circumstances.  If their favored best guess about you is in actual synch with you, you are lucky.  If it isn’t, you stay sick, get worse, and…well.   Good luck.   The “clinical” model of having to get a huge amount of empirical (” “) evidence (” “) before arriving at a diagnosis (” “) has its’ strengths.  Blood tests can be wonderful.  But also, it has a lot of weaknesses.  It removes the necessity of paying any real attention to the person in front of you.  After all, you have to wait for the “test results”.  So, the necessity of compassion, empathy, feeling what the other person is feeling, actually LOOKING at them? Not there.  So medicine becomes a cut and dried process when in fact a good deal of it is STILL intuition and exploration.  Not to mention perhaps a dash of common sense.   Obviously, the best strategy for healing is an inclusive one.  You do the tests AND you pay attention.  You leave your prejudices at the door of your consulting room.  Sure, people lie.  Sure, people do things that are completely opposite to their best interests.  But not everyone does that.  There are alot of medical issues people have that are not, as the literature says, “well understood”.  That doesn’t mean they are not real.  It just means right now, our medicine people don’t understand them.  And that’s all it means.

3)  Tomatoes.  Have, indeed saved my life.  

Small bit of nature

Small bit of nature

You can see a few speckles on the lower right: Lovely yellow pear tomatoes.  Right now, a slender thread between me and sanity, but a good one.  Panzanella is quite sustaining, as it turns out.  Cube up some french bread, day old is good but just moisten and warm first if it is hard.  Finely chop red onion (about a half a good size onion for 1/3 loaf of french bread), chiffonade of two paws full of  basil, I like some parsley too, then cut up tomatoes (three or four depending on size) (I like the watermelon shape slices in this).  Mix all together, toss with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Divine.  Even good left over.  Lead me, as it says in the Upanishads, from the Unreal to the Real.

As The Head Spins

AS promised.  I  can’t tell you how much fun we’ve been having lately.   I really can’t.

The Partner has a painful, chronic, and apparently undiagnosable “project”, as we say in Jin Shin Jyutsu, instead of saying problem, or disease.   Since we have no health insurance, this most recent episode forced us to go to the County Hospital Emergency Room.  With modest hopes of pain, nausea and vomiting, sleeplessness and other issue relief.    I used to work in an Emergency Room, and I am not naive about what they are like, and what their purpose is.   However, Gentle Readers, I confess I was beyond flabbergasted, beyond stunned, beyond offended and outraged, just….BEYOND THE BEYOND at what I beheld and endured there.

Firstly…well, what is the firstly?  I found it quite fascinating that they were quite willing, nay even eager, to give out as much morphine as anyone wanted.  Seriously.  The Partner is allergic to opiates, however, so for him, out of the question.  It’s always fun to tell a doctor you are seriously allergic to something, and have them say, what happens? Well, an allergic reaction, Doctor. Or Nurse. Or Whoever.  You know, LIFE THREATENING ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK?  ‘MEMBA THAT FROM MED SCHOOL? Ahem.  Excuse me.  So then they are not terribly interested in you.  Granted they can cross “Just for the drugs”  off their list of reasons why you’re there.  But then it’s a problem for them.  What to give you.  So, just as an aside here, I sat there thinking, hmmmm.  Morphine.  Opiates.  Afghanistan is the largest producer of opium in the world right now.  Pharmaceutical companies benefiting from the War on Terror? Maybe?   Because I was truly astounded at how loaded they got every single person around us.  But, onward.

So, there we are, Day One.  At the so-called “Triage”, where first you meet a Latino Guy who barks at you to stay behind the line while he asks you questions.  But of course he can’t HEAR you from behind the line so you have to step forward and he barks at you and…you get the picture.  Then, on to either the guy with two hearing aids or the woman who is cruising the music downloads on the hospital computer to get your temperature and blood pressure taken.  Then, after a wait whose length there is no way of knowing, on to the person next to Mr. Hearing Aid or Ms. Music, who is supposed to figure out where you should go.  The “Triage Nurse”.  After that, again time being the unknowable quantity, you get to go the the REALLY charming administrative people who set you up for the major screwjob  billing portion. It’s really fun, because they call your name, see you react and walk toward them, then they say: What’s your name?  The first day we were there for over four hours.  After which time, because the Partner looked as though he were about to die, I went up and asked where he was on the “list” to get into the actual treatment area.  He was number seven.  Out of a roomful of people, none of whom were in any acute distress to judge by the potato chip munching, walking around, laughing and general drollery going on.  This meant, functionally, that it would be at least another four hours before he even got SEEN.  Then another five to seven after that.   I took him home where a long, long horrible night passed and then, hooo boy, there we were back at  Fun Central at 6:20 a.m., vomiting in front of the Cambodian dentist’s office on the way for extra fun.

Well.  Shift change at 7 am so they just couldn’t do anything.  Go through the whole “Triage Nurse” thing again although it was all theoretically in the computer.  Although perhaps it got mixed up with the downloaded music?  I handed the “Triage Nurse” the paperwork from the day before, there was some conversation of the general eff you eff off  if you’re in here you’re dog doo variety that transpires in that room from the “Triage” staff, and Then She Said, huffily, Well, I’m sorry you had a bad experience yesterday.  You should have stayed.  We were busy.   The whole tone, the whole everything, the lack of sleep and worry and all of it..well, Gentle Readers, I was polite but I was not Nice.  I said, Please.  You don’t give a S— about what happened to us.  Can you just do your job today?  I realize there are ambulances coming in the back but at least put him ahead of the people with the hurt finger today, OK?  Perhaps vomiting all over your floor isn’t as important as the undocumented individual’s arm in a sling from the weekend’s revelry but nonethless.  So, we sit down.  Then, on to administration, where this time? The young woman would only allow the Partner in.  Well, he was too sick to talk and could barely articulate his name, which I told her, but she stuck firmly to Trollop Mode.  OK.  So, I find a seat and within moments she’s calling me in, because, Jeez, he can’t answer the questions. Fine. She asks me some things, I answer, and then she says, in this astonishingly snotty way- I thought for a moment I was back in Junior High- I don’t need you here now.  Strangely enough, I said, I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU NEED. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I DON’T CARE. So, that went well.

Moving along some interminable time later, they actually call The Partner’s name to go into the bowels of the treatment area.  Which turns out to be something like Hitler’s Bunker, but who knew?  So, fine.  He can’t stand by himself, we totter over, and they say to me, Oh, No, YOU can’t come back here.  This is the first, and only, emergency room I’ve ever been in where that happens.  So they took him.  Not surprisingly, some time later an actual ER Nurse comes striding out looking for me.  You have some medical documents? he said in a cross between a bark and a psychotic croon.  Patient can’t remember blah, and blah, and blah.  So, I explained it all to him in proper English for the umptieth time, and asked when I could see The Partner.  This is where it went completely sideways.  When it’s appropriate! he barked.  Achtung baby!  I said.  I don’t appreciate your tone, especially seeing as how I am an Actual Taxpayer.  I need to see him.  I need to know what you’re doing to him.  This is unacceptable.  Go get some coffee, he said, backing off and narrowing his eyes at me.  We’ll call you.  But of course if I’m where the coffee is, I can’t hear them if they call me.   So, after sitting in the room with a locked bathroom,one drunk in a coonskin hat, another- female- with acites wheeling around a stroller in for a “pregnancy checkup”, a woman wearing a tshirt saying “YOU KNOW I’M NO GOOD” who gets wheeled in by paramedics, then moments later jumps up, hitches her britches up (thank GOD) and dances right on outta there, and various and sundry other members of a seething and roiling sea of irretrievable damage, and after practicing letting go and sending a prayer for all to enjoy the root of happiness, even those I currently wish to KILL,  I go outside to call my client and explain why I won’t be there today, and my elderly mother who is all alone all week which is not the ideal scenario.  Then, I do the mature thing.  I burst into tears.

At that point, as fate would have it, the Hospital Chaplain was outside, heard me, and got it handled.  She is a wonderful person and they are lucky to have her. She also, apparently, straightened the nurse out because he was eventually very nice.   It turned out, of course, to be a good thing, because as I arrived the Doctors didn’t know what meds to give him and were about to do the anaphylactic shock rag again.  Also, when someone on the next gurney got up and walked out, I was able to tell them what happened and get them to stop looking in cupboards.  Meanwhile, ten hours, multiple gunshot wounds and an expensive scan later, guess what?  In essence, they said: Your tests are all normal so there’s something Wrong With You.  And sent us home with a prescription for motrin.  I am not even kidding.  I asked for some Ativan, which helps, and they said, oh, gee, no, that concerns us.  It’s addictive you know.  Unlike, say, Vicodin.   Or Morphine.  So we are just where we were, and maybe even worse.

For all of you who question the necessity for health care reform?  WAKE UP RIGHT NOW.  The cost of the way things are being done now, both in money and in human woe, is insupportable.  Nobody is getting what they need unless they have an awful lot of money or an extremely good job.  But heck, the morphine is flowing at the bottom.

Not Dead Yet

However, a bit zombified.  This will be short as we, Gentle Readers, are still digesting the delights of the past 72 hours, many (WAY TOO MANY) spent in the Emergency Room (which, ha ha, if you can walk in, it isn’t an emergency) of our fine inner city County Hospital.  Experiencing some true compassion as well as…well.  You’ll see.  Don’t miss the next installment of You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, OR, As The Head Spins.

The Importance of Honesty

Naive thing that I am, Gentle Reader, I generally assume people are telling me the truth.  Boy howdy,  is that DUMB.  Well, I mean, there are the obvious exceptions, of course.  Television news, politicians, advertising….but still.  I had been feeling a little queasy for a few days and finally realized it was because of…dishonesty overload.  Sins of omission, and all that.  This sort of thing is what really drove me bananas when I worked as slave girl of the divorce court.  People would lie when they didn’t even NEED to.  It is SO complicated to lie, after all.  Then, the inevitable horrifying denouement when the actual truth of a situation puts forth its shaggy rear end.

No good deed goes unpunished, is the bottom line here.  Favors are something that probably should never be done.  Your critical thinking has to be on all the time, friend or foe alike.  I truly hope I have learned my lesson this time, although for me it is a hard one.  No more favors.  I suppose by “favor” I mean those instances where there is not an appropriate exchange, in whatever medium you may choose, for what is being done.  Maybe this is part of the never ending story of how one ceases being co-dependent.  *sigh*  

It is a lot of work to become an adult, let’s just say.  In the end I think it is easier to be an adult but it is easier, in the beginning, not to be one.  There are just so many things I don’t understand at all , like calculus for example, or Japanese grammar.  The fact that people do not treat each other with the truth but rather with some kind of touch up job that makes their teeth look white is something that I doubt I will ever understand.  

These days we’re getting dishonesty at megawatt levels, anyway.  I could have laughed, but didn’t, at all the Town Hall meetings where people are expressing fears that the elderly won’t get appropriate treatment, or they won’t get the medicine they need, etc. if we get a national health care coverage plan.  People! Get the paper bag off your heads and think, at least a little bit.  The insurance companies are already doing this for you!!! Yes!  Death Panels, give me a freaking break.  I had a client in his 80’s who had cancer.  His  HMO  decided that since he was basically “terminal”, and old, there wasn’t any further real care they were going to provide.   He died sooner than he should have because of this cessation of attention.  But not without a honking big ICU bill.  So, I think? We already have those “death panels”.  And they  fulfill their mission which is to bring in money, not focus on care and healing.  Meanwhile you have to ask yourself what is being thought about when it is more important to discredit the President of the United States by defeating his programs than it is to truly sit down and address some pressing and dramatic crises that are not going to go away on their own.   It is, to say the least, dishonest.

There But For ? Go I

When you think about what medical research is showing in terms of what actually causes genetic disease, syndromes of all sorts, it is pretty amazing.  One twinked protein out of however many zillion there are in the chain (we are nothing if not scientific with our wording around here) can generate cystic fibrosis, or a disorder that makes you chew your hands and lips off, eventual Alzheimer’s, or proclivities toward addiction, depression, sociopathy…all kinds of things.  Just one little tiny item in the entire matrix can make something huge happen, and it can’t readily be undone.  

Fate seems to work in a similar way at times.  Choices, being in X place at Y time; all the larger components of the world and the universe that act on us in ways we don’t necessarily recognize or understand.  There seems to be a giant swirling matrix of  “stuff” that we navigate by luck, or intuition, or who knows what?  Why are we in any particular “here” at any particular “now”? It can seem like a miracle that anything progresses at all.  Of course, when you look up at the sky, or into a tree in spring when the leaf sets are forming, or into the bud of a flower, or watch a small child or animal learn to navigate their world, you can also see that there IS a creative force there that carries all along with it.   Every raindrop, every grain of sand, every dust mote, every one of us: We’re all one but we’re all different.  So: We’re all in this together.

The thing of it is probably to trust.  Perhaps this is where faith comes in.  Not the faith that gets pushed at us by zealots of all stripes, which is to my mind more about fear than faith.  Do it our way or else.  Believe in what we say or you’ll be in trouble.   Faith that comes from experiencing the vastness of what we don’t know, of what’s all around us, our kinship with all that,  and finding a kind of peace in that, and an ability to more forward in the flow of time, is the kind of faith I’m thinking of.  The awareness that if, say, you visualize the world and everything and every being in it, as one big body? You’re maybe a hair? So does it make sense to fight with the scalp? No.

I really have been wondering about all this more than usual even, lately.  The recent murder of a small girl in Tracy, California made me think: How did the woman accused of this act get to where she is now?  Whether or not she committed this deed, what cosmic tweaked protein distorted her life?  What about all the people, all over the world, who through no real fault of their own wind up stuck in refugee camps?  Or mired in intractable poverty which puts them in situations, routinely, that verge on the unimaginable.  Or on the other end, those at the top of the pyramid.  How did they get THERE?

Another question is: How do you survive these things? Live with the tweak and the wound?  How do you live with people who have such major bends in their inner chains that they can’t be lived with? The serial killers, the abusers.  As well as, how do you live with Power?

  There is a Buddhist saying: Help those you think you cannot help.  In that help, however, you cannot destroy yourself, and this is where most of the learning has to take place.  Help, like love, is offered like air or sunshine.  It is kind of a function of unconditional love to want others to be whole and happy, and to work toward that by offering help.  But that help can’t be thrown away, and it can’t be given to something that destroys you in the process, or to something that will not receive it.

Still.  This ties in to societal causes in a way, because often everyone gets tarred with the same brush, as it were.  If you have a disability, you’re different, there’s no way to make money off you.  If you’re poor, you’re part of a seemingly necessary substrate for capitalism.  I’m thinking too about all the individuals who, through their life experiences, are hurt and wounded and damaged.  Maybe you can’t see that damage in someone who’s endured trauma or illness or poverty or any number of things and setbacks.  But it is there.  It can be healed but it cannot be cured.  This is what I’ve been realizing lately.  You may learn alot from what it takes to make yourself whole again, but you cannot go back to what you were.  It’s kind of like the quest for eternally youthful appearance.  You’re only 25 once this go round.  It is a waste of precious time and energy to spend succeeding minutes, days, years, trying to maintain that fleeting episode.  You can’t go back, but you can go forward.

I like to think this is possible in many ways.  Trauma and stress leave their marks and they are lasting.  But there is a way to understand what you’ve learned from the experience.  Not necessarily to know exactly what happened, but to know how YOU feel about it, and to also understand you have to take care of yourself and learn to, metaphorically, walk again.  Maybe the real task for us all is to develop our compassion and breadth of vision.  This is what leads to forgiveness, which to my mind  is actually a mixture of the faith referred to above, and letting go of what is past, like being 25 forever.  Perhaps a silly example.  Forgiveness doesn’t mean you let it happen again.  It just means you learn from what DID happen.  You can stop letting it take over your thoughts and behavior and feelings. It means you can help your fellow creatures in their travels and travails.  It means you can view the negative events through a broader lens, which means you have alot more space to get through them.

OK Now I Am Really Mad

I’m sorry, Gentle Reader, but this suspension of Manny Ramirez for 50 games is just not right.  I think, really? It is a big case of sour grapes.  An example of the stabbing hand coming out from behind the curtain.  Manny is, essentially, an example of the better ball player all around, over all, period, and has been since he was a kid.   He works hard.  He doesn’t dance to anybody’s tune, particularly.  He loves baseball.  People are jealous.  This suspension totally stinks.

He tested positive for a “prohibited substance.” Which we found out after alot of blather and malarkey from commentators was linked to elevated testosterone.  The commentator said, one, he’s playing better than he has since his late 20’s as though that was indicative of wrongdoing.  JEEEEZ.  Maybe he’s just happy? Ever think of that?  Out of the grip of the Red Sox Nation at last, in California, playing for a  great Manager?  Another commentator said, there’s no real reason a man would take this drug.  Again, wrong.  Many men actually DO supplement their testosterone.  Do your research.  It isn’t just to pop the seams on your shirt, it is to maintain proper over all hormonal and organ function.  Further, two other players take this same stuff, but since they Asked Permission, it’s OK.  I guess Manny just went to his doctor all by himself, without having anybody else in the room with him.  Hooooo boy. Naughty.  The fact that he didn’t issue a torrent of words about this is damning, according to these guys, too.  Manny is not a stupid individual.  He wouldn’t take something that could wreck his career; he also knows how the deck is stacked, I’m betting.  He went to school in Boston, after all.  Since he didn’t say MLB may I? the result is no mystery, and to me his response was gracious, dignified,  and clear.  And enough.  The whole question of the use of pharmaceuticals in sports is far from clear, but this is no way to provide clarity.  If it’s OK to take this if you tell someone, then it’s OK to take it.  It’s nobody’s business, really, if you are taking things that actually can support your body.  Things that give you temporary “advantages” should be screened for and dealt with.  Manny’s record speaks for itself.  He is someone who plays great baseball.  He doesn’t NEED to give himself an advantage.  He’s a natural.   In keeping with that, he’s a different breed of cat, for sure.  That doesn’t mean he’s dishonest and it doesn’t mean he’s a cheater.

To me, this is a witch hunt.  Los Angeles baseball fans? Get up and let these people know loud and clear the Dodgers will prevail regardless of this ridiculous episode.  I guess if it has to be, July 5th is a good day to come back, Manny:  Fireworks.

Time Has Come Today

I am perhaps over-producing here, but there IS a reason.  I have to do my taxes next week.  This means I may be on the floor for a while in a puddle of cry liquid, unable to type for fear of electrocution.  And where would you, (?) Gentle Reader, be, without this riveting meander through cyberspace? Exactly.  Besides, I love the Chambers Brothers and this was a good excuse to hum the song to myself.

I got a catalog in last week’s mail for an upcoming conference, featuring “New Age” speakers and products.    One part of me went, great! It’s good to get alternative thinking out there.  The other part, after reading the catalog, went, OMG.  This is not good at all.   Being as how I am a practitioner of Energy Medicine, I do feel that anything that expands public awareness about healing, thinking about healing, philosophy, consciousness, cooperation, is good.  People need to be reunited, or become acquainted with, what might be called perennial wisdom.   The heart behind healing needs to be seen more clearly.

When I read things, however that start out with vagueness and end with titanic nebulosity (“Is this you? do you want to find the secrets of the ages?”), or that promise results without some explanation up front (a water swizzle stick that is supposed to “fix”  water so that you are completely hydrated by it- water IS profoundly influenced by surrounding energies but I’d like some explanation, sorry), it worries me.  There’s a big piece of me that feels irritated by all of it.  There’s also a HUGE piece of me that is infuriated by things like the Codex, and the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA making pronouncements about plant medicine and herbs that really are not correct, but pander to  money making interests instead of healing interests. So there/here I am, between a rock and a hard spot.  I look at catalogs like the one referred to above, and think: Jeez, this is why everybody acts like energy medicine is a big bunch of airy fairy malarkey.  I look at the progress of the Codex and Insurance Companies and think: Jeez.  These guys are going to make it impossible for me to practice, and for anyone to help themselves.  Meanwhile, what’s a little ol’ practitioner to do?

I was doing research on prostate cancer for a friend, reading compendiums of studies and protocols, and one quote in a medical research journal surprised me: “Look for the artist.” Meaning, when you are consulting an oncologist or other physician, look for someone who isn’t working just by rote.  Look for someone with a soul.  Another book, by Rafael Campos, THE HEALING ART, addresses the same issue a bit differently.  He is an MD and a poet and has found that poetry is an immense force for healing with his patients.  Again: Look for the artist.

For…ever, really, healing has been a work that is done with the soul and the heart.  It is about journeying into whatever Meaning exists in a situation, and working toward the harmony of that Meaning for the individual who must, through illness, come to understand it.  This is one aspect of diagnosis that can be profoundly tricky.  The real Meaning, real Issue, may be something quite different than one might think just by looking at symptoms.  Nothing can be overlooked or disregarded.  This is where energy medicine is incredibly powerful. An example from my own practice:  An elderly gentleman with inoperable cancer.  I was doing Jin Shin Jyutsu on him, which is energetic bodywork, a hands on Art.  My teachers always stressed that one must, doing this, be the Artist.  It also involves reading pulses, which is astonishing and also? The work of a lifetime.  In any case, this gentleman was not doing well.  I knew from taking his pulses and putting my hands on him that he had an infection, probably in the intestinal tract.  His doctors refused to even entertain this possibility.  Ultimate outcome? It was found that he had an intestinal infection.  This is just to say that even though I am not a physician, not a nurse, not an MPH: I am, in fact, able to do healing work.  I can “feel” what goes on in someone.   I work with, yes, the force of the heart and the soul.  I work with the energies of the body.  I also insist on proper medical followup and treatment when it is proper: Allopathic and Alternative medicines must work together.    But just as I am not stuck in a clinical trial mindset, I also have not changed my name to that of a goddess or a tree, nor do I use the word shamanic in any of my remedies .   Although all of those elements, clinical trials, shamans, trees and goddesses are in my world.   

Many days I feel as though I am completely and always at the beginning of this work.  There is so much to learn, so much to observe.  I really don’t know much, it seems.  Nonetheless, I do not want to be discarded automatically on the one hand because I don’t present my work with catchphrases and come ons and jargon and not being “new age” enough.  Nor do I want to be discarded on the other because so much of my work is about interacting with a vital world energy, about  love , and not whether I can replicate this exact result 100 times, or even explain exactly what happened every time.    It’s quite the endeavor.